Our annual Esperanza International Film Festival takes place in Moscow and serves as a showcase for the new independent films to the Russian audience and broadens the exchange of filmmaking experience between Russian, European, Asian and American cinema art schools. The 2016 Esperanza festival will be held August 18 – 25.

Esperanza is hope. Our hope that worthy films of talented directors will reach their audience. Hope that filmmaking stays art, made with high professional skills, but not left for commercial nothingness. It is hope that the real artist will always find graceful and elegant way to express his opinion, even if a very controversial one.

Our event is devoted to exploration of different artistic ways for remarkable expression of the author’s view, not dictated by any of political or trend frames, but delivered with high quality and in a respective manner.

We promote cinematic art as the greatest means for dialog between nations and try to deepen community’s understanding of Russian mentality. We encourage directors and producers to rise the issues of all kinds of global or local problems, because we strongly believe in cinematic power in solving them and awakening people’s mind.

In addition to exhibiting new films Esperanza International Film Festival presents seminars for young directors, pitching program and offers it’s own film-market, so this meeting place is not only for directors and their audience, but for all professionals engaged in cinema production industry: producers, distributors and financiers.

One more thing. We’ll do our best for You – audience and filmmakers, professionals and partners – to feel at our Festival as cosy as home.

Awards & Prizes

1. All selected films will have a free stand in Esperanza festival film-market and will be able to sell their work on-line.

Our festival is a competition platform with a “jury award” and “audience award”.

2. Feature film winner will receive an “Esperanza best feature” award and the prize of $2000 cash.

Short film winner will receive an “Esperanza best short” award and the prize of $1000 cash.

Documentary winner will receive an “Esperanza best doc” award and the prize of $1000 cash.

Environmental film winner will receive an “Esperanza best eco-film” award and the prize of $1000 cash.

The award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, customs, insurance and similar charges or costs (if any).

3. The “audience award” is a special prize, which is given to the best film according to the voting of people attending the festival.

4. The winners of non-competition programs will receive consolation prizes.

Rules & Terms

– Esperanza festival is open to all authors, film directors, professionals and non-professionals.
– As well as film competition, festival’s program includes pitching, film market and seminars from best world’s filmmakers.
– Programming is at the sole discretion of the head programmer of festival and his decision is final and irrevocable.
– Each film is screened or pitched 1 to 3 times during the festival.
– No premier requirements, but the the films must have neither been presented in television nor in the internet, except for music video.
– No film selected may be withdrawn from the festival program after its publication.
– Submitted films will only be considered for selection after the entry fee is received. For film market – entry fee is taken only if the film is approved for sale in the festival.
– Student works are accepted, but we do not accept work-in-progress for competition.
– After the festival one copy of the film will be kept in festival’s archive for historical and research purposes.
– Films which have previously been submitted and viewed for Esperanza selection cannot apply a second time.
– For officially selected films Esperanza aims to provide as much support as possible to filmmakers attending the festival (such as getting visa, help with accommodation, convenience).

The festival’s official competition includes 4 sections:

Full-length feature films
Short feature films
Documentaries
Eco-films

Minimal length of feature films is 60 minutes.
Maximal length of the short films admitted to Esperanza Festival is 40 minutes.
Documentaries and films devoted to environmental topic can be of any length.

Non-competition program includes:

Music video
Motivational films

* The latter category is devoted to outstanding sport achievements, or people with disabilities, or movies on the theme of health.


1. Applicants may choose the festival section to which they would like to submit their film.
2. We do not accept work-in-progress.
3. For the preview organizers agree uniquely with DIGITAL supports sent via Vimeo (private) link or similar platforms with a safe on-line screener and a password. If you submit through any on-line catalogue – we accept its screener.
4. Movies sent to Esperanza Festival can be of any language, but must have English subtitles (excluding films in Russian and English) – for selection process.
5. Date of completion: Within 18 months prior the festival (after February 2015).
6. No premier requirements, but the the films must have neither been presented in television nor in the internet.
7. Submission fees are in russian Rubles and are non-refundable. We don’t accept submissions without payment. Payments of the entry fee is to be effected by credit card during the online submission or via one of online platforms. Visa, MasterCard are accepted.

Notification date – June 1, 2016
The program to be announced – June 5, 2016
No film selected may be withdrawn from the festival program after its publication.

If you are selected:

1. We accept DCP/Blu-Ray (shipping of the copy is to be paid by the director/producer of the film) or digital copy of the film of high quality via special sharing sites (drive.google.com, dropbox, yadi.sk, wetransfer.com, hightail.com etc). Format and compression is to be discussed after notification.
2. The festival is authorized to make one excerpt not exceeding 10% or max. 3 minutes of the total running time to be used promoting the festival in different media and internet sites.
3. Our festival is bilingual, so
– Films in Russian language will be required to have English subtitles.
– Festival takes responsibility of making Russian translation to all selected non-russian films. The directors will be asked to send the original version of the film without subtitles and a cover letter with original dialog list.
4. You required to send us stills from the film, poster, a photo of director, trailer and other promotional material which you have. You must authorize Esperanza IFF to use your selected work and materials for festival promotional purposes.
5. You must accept responsibility for obtaining any and all clearances necessary to exhibit your film and warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film at Esperanza Festival 2016.
6. The filmmaker is solely responsible for the content of the film and agrees that the film does not contain any content that may be construed as: libellous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, sexually, racially or ethically offensive, intimidating, threatening, hateful, discriminatory or abusive.
7. All invited filmmakers are encouraged to attend their screening.